The Super Eagles currently have one of the youngest squads in the world with an average age of 25.4 years, but that’s not the only thing that sets them apart.
Nigeria also have one of the best-attacking talents not just in Africa but in the world. A couple of Nigerian players have stood out for their clubs across Europe this season.
The country currently has her best set of attackers in recent years, and if managed properly, they could dominate African football for many years.
Some of these players have been linked with a move to Europe’s biggest clubs, and it’s not a surprise given their performances across Europe’s major leagues.
With that said, Soccernet.ng ranks Nigeria’s best attackers in Europe this campaign.
NB: This is not just for Super Eagles stars, but also players who have switched their international allegiance to Nigeria. The likes of Cyriel Dessers will get to feature in the list, but Bukayo Saka misses out.
In ranking these players, we take a look at the quality of the league and also their club performances.
Chidera Ejuke (Heerenveen and Eredivisie): Cyriel Dessers has been grabbing the headlines in the Dutch top-flight, but another Nigerian has been flying under the radar.
Chidera Ejuke only joined Heerenveen from Norweigian side, Vålerenga, last July, but he has been one of the best players for De Superfriezen this campaign.
He scored his ninth league goal of the season in Heerenveen’s 3-2 win over Twente on Saturday. With his pace and trickery, the 22-year-old has had a hand in 32% of the goals Johnny Jansen’s men have scored in the Eredivisie this season.
There is something special about this dude …Dear Gernot, @NGSuperEagles @thenff Chidera Ejuke is real Super eagles material ..Get him #Eredvise #KuliFootball @owngoalnigeria @ScoreNigeria1 @Editor_ANS @ojbsports @Toyin_Ibitoye pic.twitter.com/r8Krvgbiee
— kuli kuli football (@FootballKuli) March 1, 2020
He is the best dribbler in the Dutch top-flight and averages four dribbles per game. In 28 games, Ejujke has scored ten times and provided six assists.
Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr is expected to name his squad for Nigeria’s clash against Sierra Leone this month, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ejuke is handed his first call-up.
Emmanuel Dennis: (Club Brugge and Jupiler Pro League): Born in Abuja, Nigeria, Dennis joined Club Brugge from Zorya Luhansk in 2017.
However, Dennis’s career in Belgium never really got off until this campaign. His moment came in a Champions League game against Real Madrid last September.
Playing in front of 80,000 people at the Santiago Bernabeu, Dennis announced his arrival on the big stage with a well-taken brace in the first half.
Although Real Madrid fought back to draw that game, Europe’s biggest clubs took notice of the Super Eagles star that night.
If there were still doubts after that night, the 22-year-old cleared them after he scored in Club Brugge’s Europa League round of 32 first-leg clash against Manchester United.
The Nigeria international has scored nine goals and registered two assists in 33 games for Brugge this season.
Although he is a striker, Dennis has shown he’s also versatile, and that’s why he’s linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund as a potential replacement for Jadon Sancho.
He only has two caps for Nigeria, but he will definitely get more chances if he maintains his growing profile.
Moses Simon (Nantes and Ligue 1): Simon is one player who divides opinion whenever he plays for the Super Eagles. However, he is one of Nigeria’s best players in Europe this season with nine goals and eight assists in 29 appearances for Nantes.
Ligue 1 defenders have found it tough to cope with the pace, strength and skills of the 24-year-old.
Simon is currently on loan with Les Canaries from Levante, but his performance has seen him being linked with a move to Newcastle and Lyon.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City and Premier League): It has been a rollercoaster year for Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigeria international’s future at the King Power Stadium appeared to be over as of November.
Iheanacho was limited to just two appearances both in the League Cup between August and November. However, his situation turned around dramatically in Leicester City’s 2-1 win over Everton at the beginning of December.
With Leicester trailing by a goal, Iheanacho was brought on for Ayoze Perez for his first league appearance of the season.
It proved to be the turning point in his season as he set up Jamie Vardy’s equalizer before scoring the winner in the sixth minute of added time.
Since that moment, Iheanacho has played in more games for the Foxes and has become one of Leicester’s most important players.
With eight goals this season, he is Leicester’s third-highest goals scorer, only behind Jamie Vardy and James Maddison.
He has started just 21% of Foxes’ games this season, but he has contributed 12% of the team’s goals. He has played a total of 788 minutes so far and has scored at least one goal every 99 minutes.
With his performance, he is expected to earn a recall to the Super Eagles squad.
Cyriel Dessers (Heracles and Eredivisie): Dessers is the only player on the list that has not featured for Nigeria, but that would change soon following his performances in the Dutch top-flight this season.
Born in Belgium to a Nigerian mother and Belgian father, Dessers decided to switch his allegiance to Nigeria. His decision to commit his international future to Nigeria is good news for Gernot Rohr.
The 25-year-old is currently the top scorer in the Eredivisie with 15 goals in 25 league games for Heracles. He has contributed more than half of Heracles’ goals and averages a goal every 148 minutes.
In addition to his 15 league goals, he has also scored three times in the KNVB Beker Cup. Dessers is currently one of Europe’s best marksmen this season.
Victor Osimhen (Lille and Ligue 1): There’s no other player to hold the top spot than the Lille hotshot. Signed from Royal Charleroi last summer, Osimhen has taken Ligue 1 by storm.
He has been a revelation with defenders struggling to cope with his pace. He scores goals with ease, and he’s a nightmare for Ligue 1 goalkeepers.
Osimhen has come a long away since he won the Golden Boot at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The 21-year-old, whose career was threatened by malaria at a time, has scored 18 goals for Lille this season including 13 in Ligue 1.
It’s why he is attracting interest from many big clubs in Europe. The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham are said to be interested in the Nigeria international.
He has had a hand in over 50% of Lille’s goals this season. Only Kylian Mbappe, Wissam Ben Yedder, and Moussa Dembele have scored more Ligue 1 goals than Osimhen so far. The Super Eagles star scores at least a goal in every 169 minutes.
His value has almost tripled because of his performances this season. He is arguably Les Dogues‘ best player right now, and it is hard to see Lille keeping him for a long time should he continue to improve.